Thousands of Union Members Show Strong Support for Clean Air Protection

The BlueGreen Alliance submitted comments of support, signatures on petitions and letters from local unions and union groups representing over 240,000 union workers in support of the proposed Carbon Pollution Standard.

June 25, 2012

Labor-Environmental Partnership to Deliver Thousands of Comments to the EPA Supporting Greenhouse Gas Limits to New Power Plants; Releases Economic Analysis of Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2012) The BlueGreen Alliance today announced they have submitted comments of support, signatures on petitions and letters from local unions and union groups representing over 240,000 union workers to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of the proposed Carbon Pollution Standard, which limits the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants. The direct comments, petitions, and letters of support from local unions were collected by organizers from the BlueGreen Alliance — a national partnership of 12 of the largest labor unions and environmental organizations in the U.S. — over the last two months since the EPA announced the proposed standard.

The EPA’s comment period for the proposed standard ended today, and Matt Sinclair, a union worker from Virginia from the Communications Workers of America, delivered the comments, petitions, and letters of support to the EPA.

“This support from union members clearly shows that combatting climate change is important to trade unionists everywhere,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Over the last 40 years, we’ve seen that environmental safeguards have pushed America’s industries to innovate, and have led to less waste, more efficiency and greater economic opportunities. This proposed standard would do the same.”

In addition to the comments, letters, and petitions, the BlueGreen Alliance and Economic Policy Institute also submitted a joint economic analysis as a comment, which focuses on the economic benefits of the Carbon Pollution Standard when combined with complementary efforts. This comprehensive effort will make America more competitive in the industries of the 21st century.

The joint economic analysis shows that the premise put forward by opponents of this standard — that it is a “job-killer” — is flat wrong; that with complementary policies the standard can reduce electricity costs and boost capital spending, setting the stage for good job creation; that complementary policies can maximize the effectiveness of this proposed rule, reduce “carbon leakage” from the rule, and help deploy renewable energy.

The joint economic analysis is available here.